Claire McFarland

Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, United States Studies Centre

Claire McFarland is the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program Director at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

Previously Assistant Secretary Digital Economy Policy and Strategy with the Australian Government, Claire had responsibility for the National Digital Economy Strategy and programs designed to increase the use of digital technologies by individuals and businesses. Notably, Claire led the work on the ‘Digital First’ policy requiring all Australian Government departments to design new citizen-facing services with a digital focus ahead of other delivery mechanisms. Subsequently, Claire was involved in the establishment of what is now the Digital Transformation Agency.

Prior to joining the Australian Government, Claire had responsibility for one of Australia’s biggest online and mobile media audiences, leading Telstra’s Bigpond Media business. There she helped deliver news, AFL, NRL, music, games, movies and shopping via a range of business models, including ad-funded, telco-bundled subscription and ecommerce.

Claire is a digital technology pioneer, starting her career in the early days of OzEmail, Australia’s first internet service provider. Through the dot com era Claire was the editor of Fairfax’s AFR.com and introduced cutting-edge content personalisation technologies at Excite@Home. Claire managed significant customer bases for Optus internet access products and led a range of first-to-market content services.

Claire holds a Bachelor of Science (Molecular Biology), a Master of Arts (Journalism) and a Master of Business Administration.

Areas of expertise

  • Innovation and entrepreneurship